Self-Propelling pills could mean the end of needle vaccines

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These pills work like tiny speedboats.

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A new type of tiny motor can help shuttle life-saving vaccines to where they need to go. For infants or those of us who are squeamish around needles, that could mean a future with fewer shots and more effective medicine.

The problem with oral vaccines — ones that take pill form — is that they can sometimes get broken down by stomach acid or get spit right back up by a child. That’s why researchers are interested in tiny, molecular motors that can propel the pills through the body to their target, making orally-consumed medication more effective than ever before.

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Willard Wigan Carves Objects The Size Of An Eye Of A Needle

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Tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny carvings!

Willard Wigan has probably got some of the most stable hands of anybody on earth! Willard is an artist that carves sculptures and figures that can all fit into the eye of a needle. And hey, at least Willard isn’t doing this for nothing. He managed to sell his entire petite collection for about $20 million. Good for him!

(video after the jump…)

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New Gadget Eliminates Pain in Dental Injections By Tricking Your Brain

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People of the world who hate hate HATE going to the dentist, rejoice: DentalVibe is a new device that completely eliminates the pain when they are sticking a stainless steel needle into your gums. All by cleverly fooling your brain.

Developed by Dr. Steven G. Goldberg DDS and Bresslergroup, DentalVibe vibrates at irregular intervals. While the brain ignores rapid rhythmical vibration, it notices pulses that are not regular. These vibrations are transmitted by A-beta nerve fibers, which are faster than the slower C fibers that transmit the sensation of pain caused by the needle penetrating your gums.

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Decriminalizing Drug Use in Portugal: 5 Years Later

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Prescription Drugs are Drugs Too, Often as Dangerous as so called “Street” Drugs.

While people in the United States endlessly debate what should be done with the country’s drug problem, Portugal went ahead and decriminalize the use and possession of illicit drugs 5 years ago.

Here’s what the country learned…

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Robotic System That Will Operate On A Beating Heart

Robotic System That Will Operate On A Beating Heart 

This device lets surgeons attach small anchors to tissue inside a beating heart by compensating for the heart’s movement. 

Fixing the heart is hard. Certain procedures have to be performed on a stationary organ, so the heart is stopped and the patient put on a cardiopulmonary bypass machine. But stopping the heart increases the risk of brain damage. Now researchers at Harvard University and Children’s Hospital Boston are testing a robotic system that could help surgeons perform a common valve repair while the heart beats on. The system uses 3-D ultrasound images to predict and compensate for the motion of the heart so that the surgeon can work on a patient’s mitral valve as it moves.

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Design For New Needle Based On Mosquito

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Mosquito Power!

A new, completely painless, hypodermic microneedle has been developed by engineers in India and Japan. The unique micro-electro-mechanical based suction system has a design that is based on the female mosquito.

The system uses a sucking motion to draw up blood, similar to the ritual of a mosquito. The needle could be used for various procedures such as drawing blood, injecting drugs and monitoring glucose levels for diabetics.
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